The Vancouver Whitecaps’ rebuild continues under new head coach Marc Dos Santos, this time with a departure. The Caps parted ways with 32-year-old Canadian left back Marcel de Jong.
“We are thankful to Marcel for his contributions,” Dos Santos said Monday. “He has served this club professionally, and we wish him well in the future.”
De Jong, 32, recorded six assists in 38 starts and 46 appearances across all competitions in two-plus seasons with Whitecaps FC, arriving in Vancouver in July 2016.
De Jong struggled for first-team minutes last season under former head coach Carl Robinson. He made 19 Major League Soccer appearances last season, but only featured three times in the last 10 games and finished 2018 with a total of 159 minutes.
With the club signing wingbacks Victor “PC” Giro and Scott Sutter — and rumors the club could add one or more additional wingbacks — De Jong faces an uphill battle for playing time in the upcoming season.
“The move allows Marcel to explore other opportunities, while we continue to make changes to our roster in preparation for the upcoming season,” Dos Santos explained to reporters.
De Jong already has been linked with a move to the newly-established Canadian Premier League and is expected to sign a contract with Victoria-based Pacific FC.
The Whitecaps are currently in Honolulu, Hawaii, to prepare for the 2019 MLS season, which will kick off with a home game against Minnesota United on March 2.